"BRILLIANT!" was the immediate reaction at news of $1.2 million in additional state government money to get all Queensland's flood affected sporting clubs back on their feet.
Sports and recreation minister Steve Dickson announced the grants in Gympie this morning, saying they were necessary to get "kids back in the paddock playing sport, getting some normality back into their lives."
"You've only got to visit Bundaberg to see how deeply people have been hurt," he said.
"The need for this extra funding (to restore the normal lives of flood victims, especially young people) just became so obvious to the Queensland Government," Mr Dickson said yesterday.
"When kids play sport it makes them friends they will have for the rest of their lives."
Announcing the grants at Gympie's One Mile sports fields this morning, Mr Dickson said the money would complement the Get in the Game scheme, which subsidises clubs and players and encourages sporting involvement by people who cannot always afford the "horrendous" cost of sports equipment and clothing.
"We've found that 25% of the grants have been taken up by kids who have never played sport of any kind because in many cases their parents cannot afford membership of sports clubs or purchase of equipment.
"These are people who will make friends on the sports fields. They will be bridesmaids and best men at each other's weddings and they will run into each other for years.
"Our government is 100% behind getting kids back in the paddock."
He said the money would add to $1 million already allocated to sporting clubs across the state to encourage new participation by young people - making a total of $2.2 million.
"We need to get kids back playing sport and getting some normal routine back into their lives.
"We had to dig deep in the department and this is everything we can do at the moment.
"This is about keeping kids involved in sport, especially after the floods.
"This is really needed right now," he said.
Mr Dickson said electricity was a big part of the costs experienced by clubs in recovering from floods.
"We learned about the three pillars of our lives - food, water and shelter.
"Now we can add electricity to the list. It's the fourth one."
"Power fittings go under water and cost thousands of dollars to clean and repair and reconnect," he said.
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